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Kelowna News

13 unnecessary calls to 9-1-1 in B.C.

A 9-1-1 call taker is seen in this undated image.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/E-Comm 9-1-1

RCMP in Kelowna have released a list of 13 of the most frivolous calls to 9-1-1 this year.

Number two on a list of 13 calls to the emergency line is: “Can you order me a taxi?”

It’s important to recognize these calls take time and can delay the emergency response for someone in real need of help, according to E-Comm 9-1-1, the agency that coordinates 9-1-1 calls in B.C.

Other calls to 9-1-1 include asking who to call to book a vaccine, pointing out the air conditioning needed to be turned down and one caller said they called 9-1-1 because they don’t want to wait on hold for the regular RCMP line or bylaws.

Another caller complained about noisy neighbours interfering with their sleep. While, in theory, that might be an out-of-control wild party, some of the other noise complaints include upstairs neighbours walking too loudly or a neighbour playing video games.

Some people called 9-1-1 to say stolen items were being sold on Facebook Marketplace, or to say a “business is refusing my services” and this gem, “my cell phone company is holding me hostage.”

There was also a call about a roommate eating all the chicken and another about a neighbour cutting their lawn while the caller was holding a family function.

Calls to 9-1-1 are for police, fire or medical emergencies when immediate action is required, E-Comm says. This could be someone’s health, safety or property is in jeopardy or a crime is in progress.

“If you need police assistance that's not of an emergency nature (for example, your situation is a valid police matter but does not require immediate attention), please use your local 10-digit non-emergency number,” E-Comm says on its website.

The agency also points out many non-emergency matters can also be reported online, at your own convenience. Find your non-emergency number or online reporting tool here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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